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EVGA Z77 Stinger mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: EVGA

Overclocking Results

EVGA E-LEET Tuning Utility

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EVGA packaged the board with their E-LEET Tuning Utility, a Windows-based utility for both device temperature monitoring and overclocking purposes. The interface may look very familiar since it is a customized and re-skinned version of the popular CPU-Z monitoring and information application. The application provides the expect information and settings through the CPU, Memory, Graphics, and Options tabs. The customized content is housed in the Monitoring, Overclocking, Voltages, and Processes tabs.

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Memory tab

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Graphics tab

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Options tab

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The Monitoring tab display real-time voltage, temperature, and fan speed measurements for BIOS monitored devices. Fan speeds only show for ports with fan connected.

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The Overclocking tab houses the CPU and bus frequency-related settings. The CPU ratio settings shown under the Turbo Mode Control section are user configurable only with the CPU Multiplier control option set to the EVGA ELEET Ratio setting. This option can be configured via the Overclocking tab in the system BIOS.

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The Voltages tab houses voltage configuration settings similar to those offered in the BIOS via the Overclocking tab with a few notable exceptions. The application allows for fine manipulation of both the graphics die voltage (VAXG) and the CPU PLL voltage, neither of which are available for configuration through the BIOS The CPU PULL voltage can be set to aggressive operation via an enable/disable option in the BIOS.

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The Processes tab gives the user the ability to customize processor affinity for system processes via assigned hotkeys. This in itself an innovative way to increase system performance for specific applications on an on-demand basis.

While the provided E-LEET Tuning Utility application offers a plethora of settings, I could not get the board to overclock any better with the applet than I could via manual BIOS configuration. The manual configuration and results are outlined below.

Manual Overclocking

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Using manual settings in the EVGA UEFI BIOS via the Overclocking tab, I was able to successfully stabilize the system at a 104 MHz base clock setting with a 4.36 GHz CPU speed and a 1660 MHz memory speed. System stability was tested a 7 hour period with LinX running for 500 loops with Memory set to All and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode. Additional stress testing was done over a 13 hour period using Prime95 set for Torture Test mode with In-Place Large FFTs and FurMark running at 1280x1024 resolution and 2x MSAA in stress test mode.

In testing, it was found that the BIOS VDroop settings needed to be set to Disabled in order to set the most consistent and stable CPU Voltage. With VDroop set to any other setting, the CPU Voltage setting would fluctuate wildly, causing system stability issues. Note that in terms of memory overclocking, the board would not post with the memory frequency value set to anything higher than 1600 MHz. The modules themselves have been proven to run at 2133 MHz in other systems without issue.

Overclocking tab settings

  • BCLK Frequency Setting [10kHz] - 10400
  • CPU Multiplier Setting - 42
  • VDroop - Disabled
  • OC Mode - Disabled
  • EVGA Performance Tweak – Disabled
  • Internal PLL Voltage Override - Enabled
  • (All) Core Ratio Limit - 42
  • Current VCore(mv) - 1300
  • Current VDimm(mv) - 1550
  • Current VCCIO(mv) - 1135
  • Current PCH Voltage(mv) - 1535

Memory Configuration settings

  • Memory Clock Multiplier - 133
  • Memory Frequency Limiter - 1600 MHz
  • tCL - 11
  • tRCD - 11
  • tRP - 11
  • tRAS - 11
  • Command Rate - 1
December 3, 2012 | 01:12 PM - Posted by Daniel Nielsen (not verified)

Will you ever do a Mini ITX round up sort of thing? By the looks of the recent ones that been featured on PCP'er i will strongly consider a Mini ITX Motherboard for my next upgrade.

December 3, 2012 | 06:38 PM - Posted by Kitten Masher (not verified)

This should have the "mini-itx" tag.

December 3, 2012 | 06:41 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

indeed, added

December 4, 2012 | 04:07 AM - Posted by Justin 150 (not verified)

NO MSata?

Having used Mini-Itx boards in a couple of builds the crucial area that MB makers need to consider is cable management - in most mini-itx cases it is a real pain. There is not a lot that can be done with the Sata cables, in an ideal world I would want a MSata 3 socket on back of board, but there is something that can be done for the 24 pin ATX and 4/8 pin Aux power sockets: it is not enough to have them on the edge of the board they need to be at right angles to current norm.

Personally I would go with the ASRock z77 e-itx board over the EVGA

December 18, 2012 | 04:49 PM - Posted by TheBoss (not verified)

If anyone goes Asus over EVGA you are either misinformed, have never dealt with Asus before, are filthy rich and do not care about throwing money away, are just an Asus fanboy, or possibly retarded.

I have built 100's of PC's this year alone. I bang them out like Rihanna gets hit. All the time. They have a higher than failure rate than EVGA, use inferior parts in most cases, and WORST of all you can not do an Asus RMA to save your freaking life.

ASUS = HEADACHES AND HASSLES

EVGA = GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, SUPERIOR COMPONENTS, GREAT DESIGN, GREAT ENGINEERING

I sell more Asus stuff than EVGA, so don't count me a "Fanboy" by any means. But for someone to PREFER an Asus MoBo to this little stinger is just dumb. No offense inteded here btw.

TheBoss
BossRigs.com

December 31, 2012 | 11:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Strange, but I have had almost the exact opposite experience. I have had problems of bad capacitors leaking in a few EVGA products, and few construction problems with ASUS. I have had a dead MOBO or two from ASUS, and getting an RMA was not difficult (I do live close enough to drive down to ASUS and pick up the replacements). I'm happy with the quality of both EVGA and ASUS, in fact just installed a couple of the new ASUS ac routers.

February 27, 2013 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I believe he suggested an ASrock board... not ASUS. Seems like you blew a gasket about nothing

June 4, 2013 | 02:20 AM - Posted by Mason (not verified)

I really love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme.
Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I'm trying to create my very own blog and want to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Thanks!

Here is my website - his comment is here

December 4, 2012 | 10:13 AM - Posted by orvtrebor

This really should have been compared to the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe (ITX) board. They are at the same price point and trying to accomplish the same level of performance.

But I understand you guys don't have an endless supply of hardware to compare with :)

Either way its great to see another high performance ITX board.

December 4, 2012 | 11:54 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

There will likely be more mini-ITX reviews in the future, along with the possibility of some type of comparison article as well.  Stay tuned...

December 9, 2012 | 04:28 PM - Posted by Rocco (not verified)

"It's [sic] performance both at stock settings and while overclocked were nothing short of astounding"

Astounding? 4.36GHZ is downright anemic compared to the other mini-itx boards and the vdroop issues and memory OC failure don't scream quality. Considering the price, I would give this board a 6/10.

December 10, 2012 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

While 4.36GHz may not seem high comparatively speaking, but for the 3570K CPU we use in testing, it is on par with what we've seen with other boards.  Also just in terms of base clock overclocking, aq 104MHz base clock is nice, since most won't go above 103MHz if you're lucky.

The memory o/c was a bit odd to me also, but it wasn't something to distract from an otherwise stellar board - on the Intel side, o/c'd memory does not buy you a huge performance gain for most things (read real-world gaming).

The VDroop issue can be controlled via careful BIOS tweaking, so that in my mind is a non-issue...

December 27, 2012 | 12:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What about the power consumption numbers without an add-on video card?

January 7, 2013 | 03:43 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Good point, something we'll consider adding in future m-atx and m-itx reviews...

January 7, 2013 | 07:10 PM - Posted by Luxferro (not verified)

Avoid EVGA at all cost. This board does not work correctly. The bios settings are all messed up, don't save, don't clear either optimized defaults or the clear CMOS button.

EVGA ignores all the problems related to this board on their forums. They don't even answer support tickets.

Save yourself a huge headache and just buy another brand. It's pretty clear they did no validation on this motherboard.

March 3, 2013 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Anonymal (not verified)

...no , it`s a pretty nice MB, some peoples or programers just made wrong stuff on BIOS or bad flash bios, that`s all... any brand have some trouble , i remember downloaded a Bios from ASUS for a ROG.mATX board...
Very bad thing...the worst is that they changed the bios update some days after...with the same name and denomination 1.xx ,i had 2 downloaded files with the same name , frome the same place at ASUS...but with diferent bios inside...thank you ASUS you crushed my very expensive ROG MB ^^

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